On the heels of the game's announcement a month ago, Sony has released the first wave of
Wild Arms Advanced 3rd details. Apparently, the 'Advanced' moniker in the title indicates the game is-well, more advanced than the previous chapter in the Wild Arms series(what exactly advanced entails is uncertain, but it most likely refers to technology). The game, under development for the PlayStation2, will be set on the world of Filgaia, a medieval European-themed world, and will star ARMs expert Virginia Maxwell, whose name coincides with "Calamity" Jane Maxwell from the original Wild Arms game. In a first for the series, however, Maxwell will be joined by not two but three allies, as the series makes the jump to four party members. Joining Maxwell will be Jet Enduro, a treasure hunter, Gallows Caradine, a Baskar tribesman, and Clive Winslet, a bounty hunter. Sony did not reveal how these four characters come together; in fact, story details were rather scarce.
Since there are now four party members, the dynamics of the battle system are somewhat changed from the first two Wild Arms games. The Force Ability system, where Force Points are accumulated until reaching a maximum level which then permits Force Abilities to be used, will return with further enhancements. The Guardians, which appeared in prior Wild Arms titles, are back, and it is likely the system of gathering equippable Runes from key events will be carried through to Wild Arms 3. Not everything will stay the same, however; more strategy will be integrated into the battle system. Switching the stance of characters in battle will be possible, and there will be more puzzles and action-oriented obstacles. The analog stick will play a big role here, as Wild Arms 3 puts it to good use in pushing objects, climbing walls, hanging on ceilings, and a number of other actions.
Wild Arms Advanced 3rd is fully 3-D, another first for the series. Sony's vaunted cel-shading technology will be employed to effect here in order to preserve the animated appearance which characterizes the series. Additionally, character portraits have been added to text boxes. All this graphical improvement will likely take some time, however; Wild Arms 3 has no announced release date in either Japan or North America, as it is still early in development. The likelihood of the game coming overseas is fairly good, however, as Wild Arms 2 had reasonably good North American sales.